July 10, 2008

Practice Is Challenging Your limits

Practice makes perfect. Perfection is a moving target. Practice is continuously challenging your limits to gain perfection.

Consider you are new at the game of darts. Initially you start throwing darts from a ten feet distance. Assume that your darts land fifteen inches away, on an average, from the bulls-eye. This is your limit as a beginner. You can challenge this limit through practice which enables you to progressively decrease the average distance till you start hitting the bulls-eye consistently. This is perfect, but only when the dartboard is ten feet away. To gain perfection at hitting the bulls-eye from twelve feet, you need to challenge your limits further and practice more. Putting a blindfold on one eye will challenge your limits even further. And so on...

Practice helps you gain perfection. However, perfection is a matter of definition that changes with each milestone that you achieve. Each milestone is a limit that you set for yourself. Each new definition of perfection forces you to challenge your limits yet again, and continue practicing till you reach the next milestone. It never ends, and there is no final limit.

May 25, 2008

Truth Without Context Is Nonsense

Any truth about a reality is valid only in a given context. In all other contexts it is not likely to make any sense.

There may be many different truths to explain any reality. Each truth makes sense in a particular context, but is normally nonsense in other contexts. Despite all good intentions, we often have serious disagreements regarding reality with others in our personal and professional life. Each person in the disagreement feels that he/she is saying the correct thing (truth), whereas others are talking nonsense. It is important to understand that it is possible that most people in the disagreement are actually speaking the truth; however their truths make sense in different contexts.

This insight became very clear to me recently while playing with my 23 month old toddler. One of her favorite toys is "Piglet" (of Winnie the Pooh fame). It is a stuffed toy made up of soft pink fur. She used to call it "Piggie" till a few days back, however nowadays she is very confused about what it is. We told her it is 'Pink', while trying to teach her colors; we told her it is 'fur' while trying to make her familiar with textures; we told her it is "Piglet", while she was watching "Winnie The Pooh' cartoon; we told her it is a stuffed toy; and we also told her that it is soft and cute.

Each of this is true about her 'Piggie", however if she points at her "Piggie", and asks me what it is without any context, I am at loss of what to say. It is so many different things depending upon the context. It is a Pig, it is the cartoon character Piglet, it is a toy, it is a stuffed toy, it is pink, it is soft and cute, it is fur, etc.

Most of us adults deal with far more complex realities than what my toddler is dealing with. Therefore whenever in disagreement, it is very important to try and understand the context in which each person is talking. Most disagreements would disappear if (a) you could step in the other person's shoes and see their context, and (b) take efforts to make sure that others see your context.

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April 30, 2008

Living Multiple Lives In One Lifetime

For you to be at peace with yourself, you need to be at peace in each of the multiple lives that you are living.

We live multiple lives in our lifetime. Whereas at a subconscious level we are aware of it, we seldom look at it from this perspective. We broadly categorize our activities and environment as personal or professional based on whether it is home, friends, work or non-work related.

I want you to consider for a moment that the differentiation in your personal and professional life is not only external but is internal as well; i.e., you are a very different person in each life. In fact, if you isolate your personal and professional life and look at yourself from a third person's perspective you will see two very different individuals.

I would also encourage you to observe carefully and identify the multiple primary lives you are leading, rather than just classifying your activities as personal and professional. For example, I live three primary lives; a family life, a product manager's life, and a writer's life. I am a very different person in each of my three lives. My focus is different, my way of dealing with others is different, what defines my success or failure is different, what excites or depresses me is different and the way I conduct myself is different.
As a family person my focus is primarily on the well being of my family, taking care of financial and emotional needs, making sure that my child grows up to be a fine individual, going for holidays and outings, celebrating festivals with extended family and friends, getting a life insurance to help my family even after my death (something that you only do for your family), building assets for post retirement security, etc.

As a product manager, my focus is on ensuring long term sustained revenue and growth of my product. Understanding customer needs, competitive landscape and emerging technologies. Speaking at conferences, listening to customer complaints, reviewing product bug list with quality assurance and engineering. Defining the future roadmap for the product etc.

As a writer, my focus is to deeply observe life and people and to share thought provoking insights through my writings. Interacting with readers, from over hundred countries, having extremely diverse backgrounds and cultures. Discussing feedback and comments. Marketing and promotion to reach potential readers. Learning technologies that help me make my blog more attractive and pleasant, etc.
For you to be living powerfully, you need to make progress and be at peace in each of your multiple lives. Making progress in one life at the cost of others will lead to unrest. You need to balance your time and energies between each of your primary lives. Identify your primary lives and evaluate each life in isolation. Do what it takes to be at peace in each of your life.

April 28, 2008

Awareness & Practice Are The Keys

Awareness changes your view of life. Practice helps you live by the new view.

Many readers find my insights thought provoking but find it difficult, if not impossible, to live by them. They ask me if I really live by what I share. My simple answer is no. If I were able to perfectly live by all insights that I share, I would become too perfect to be human. So I don't live by them, but I do strive to live by them. I consistently practice living by them. And this practice would continue through my lifetime. There would be times when I will fail, but there would also be times when I will succeed. With practice, the number of successes is likely to increase.

Awareness and practice are the keys. The purpose of sharing my insights is to increase awareness of some new perspectives to life. Once you are aware of something, it changes the rest of your life, whether or not you do anything about it. And if you do decide to practice it, the change is more dramatic and faster.

There was a time when smokers were not aware of the ill effects of smoking. Now it is a well known fact that "smoking kills". Do people still smoke? Yes, they do. But I am sure people who are aware, smoke less than they would have otherwise. Most of them discourage their children from smoking. The awareness also motivates many smokers to practice giving up smoking. Some are able to give up smoking easily. Some practice for a long time before they are able to give up. And there are those who constantly practice and reduce the number they smoke, but are never able to give up.

If any insight touches a chord in you, practice living by it. Do not give up if you fail a few times. Keep practicing and you will see the difference it makes to your life.

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Practice Is Challenging Your Limits
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April 25, 2008

Human Shades Of Gray

To be white is to be an Angel. To be black is to be a Devil. To be gray is to be a Human.

Humans are of varying shades of gray. Their personalities are a combination of white and black, godliness and deviousness. To expect a human to not have any flaw would be to expect that human to be an Angel. Humans are not Angels. To condemn a human as all evil is to condemn that human to be a Devil. Humans are not devils.

I am not talking about the minuscule percentage of rare humans who by their deeds have become comparable to Angels or to Devils. I am talking about the large majority. People like you and me. Most of us do things that may not be right. But we also do things that are right. Sometimes we do things that are evil. But many times we also do things that are kind. We have our weaknesses, but we also have our strengths. We may fail in many endeavors, but we also have many victories. We are human; a mix of white and black; a shade of gray.

So forgive yourself for all your weaknesses, failures and evils of the past. You are just a human. You are bound to be gray. Strive to be a lighter shade of gray.

March 28, 2008

Celebration of Happiness

Any activity that you enjoy is a celebration of your happiness. You wouldn't have enjoyed it if you were not happy.

Each one of us enjoys certain activities that makes us feel better and makes us feel happy. The activities are different for different people. Some people enjoy watching movies, some go on a long drive, some go out for dinner, some play sports, and others indulge in a zillion other activities.

I invite you to pause for a moment and introspect. What are your favorite activities? When do you really enjoy them? In my experience, I enjoy these activities only when I am happy. If I am under stress, these activities can at most divert my mind, but the stress stays resident at some corner of my mind. I enjoy the activities only when I decide to give up the stress.

If you really want to enjoy yourself while indulging in your favorite activities, give up your stress, be happy, and then celebrate your happiness.

Related Post: Happiness Is Your Natural State Of Being

March 8, 2008

Acknowledge Your Present

Very often we are so focussed on future that we lose sight of gifts in our present.

It is important to design our future and move towards it. However, this should not be at the cost of being ignorant of our present. It is more important to be aware of our present and be conscious of the gifts that we already have. Failure to acknowledge your present would mean a life full of frustrations, simply because you step into your future only when it becomes present.

The story below illustrates this beautifully. I came across this story multiple times on the internet. The author is unknown.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have an MBA and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."
The Mexican looked confused, “But... I already live this life”

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February 27, 2008

You And A Cup Of Coffee

You are like a cup of coffee. What is visible to the external world is the cup and not the coffee inside. What is visible to you is the coffee. And your experience of life is the warmth, taste and aroma of the coffee. The experience can only be felt. It is not visible to anyone including you.

The cup is how you come across to the world. The cup represents the visible actions that you take, the things that you do and the words that you speak. The world makes a picture of you from what is visible to them. They have no idea of what is inside. They do not know how the coffee looks. The coffee inside might be awful, but if the cup is made of delicate ceramic, the world would look at it positively. On the other hand, you may be a very good person inside but the world may ignore you as a cheap plastic cup because your goodness is not visible to them.

The coffee inside is what you are to yourself. It comes from what you think and believe. It comes from all your thoughts, actions, experiences and feelings from childhood till date. You are the only person who has witnessed everything about you. Others may have caught a glimpse here or there, but it is only you who knows what you are. Normally, what we are inside is never closely related to how the world sees us. Many of us have experienced this very closely. This is simply because the coffee inside is not visible to others. They can only see the cup.

Finally, the experience of having the coffee is your experience of life. It is not visible to anyone. Only you can feel the warmth, taste and aroma. A good experience makes you feel satisfied, relaxed and at peace, whereas a bad experience fills you with stress, dissatisfaction, and discomfort. The experience is given by your value system, your acceptance of yourself, and your acceptance of how the world sees you. You enjoy your coffee best when you are not concerned about how the cup or the coffee looks; rather you are focussed on enjoying the coffee. The look of the coffee and the cup does influence your experience of having coffee. But if you introspect, most of you will see that the biggest spoilsport is your non-acceptance of yourself, and of how the world sees you. Most happy and satisfied people are those who accept themselves, and also accept how the world sees them.

To accept yourself and to accept how the world sees you, the coffee and the cup needs to be in sync with your value system. So go ahead and live life in tune with your value system, and enjoy each moment of living it. It doesn't matter whether you are a beggar or a king.

Acknowledgment: This article is inspired by Rick Abelson’s “The Coffee or the Cup?

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February 21, 2008

Re-Energize And Renew Focus In Short Breaks

You can re-energize and renew focus by taking short breaks to clear out persistent thoughts from your mind.

On any average day, thousands of thoughts flow through our mind. Each of these thoughts can flow away in a split second or it can persist in our mind for hours. The thoughts can be just about anything; previous day’s experiences, concerns for tomorrow, events that happened years ago, dreams for the years to come, something in the news and so on.

At any time your energy and focus are influenced by multiple factors such as mood, type of thoughts, physical health, fatigue, and many more. One of the important influences is the number of thoughts that are persisting in your mind at that time. We normally start our day fully energized and with no persisting thoughts. As we progress through the day more and more thoughts start accumulating in our mind affecting both our energy and focus. On some days you are flooded with thoughts within a few minutes of waking up, on others you have a calm morning and the thoughts build up slowly. In any case, on most days your mind is full of thoughts by afternoon.

Short breaks, to clear your mind of all persisting thoughts, can work wonders on re-energizing you and renewing your focus. These breaks can be in the form of a 20 minute nap, or a 10 minute walk, or even a 10 minute break while sitting in your chair. If you take a walk, preferably in a park, try to notice the people, the trees and the beauty around you. Make conscious efforts to ignore all thoughts that pass through your mind, just focus on everything around you without any reactions and judgments. If you take your break in your chair, put your phone off the hook, sit straight with your eyes closed, and focus your thoughts on any one thing such as your own breathing, or a vacation you had on a lovely beach, or anything else that brings back pleasant memories. You will feel your mind getting cleared of persisting thoughts, it would feel like a huge load coming off your shoulders, and you would be ready to get back to your regular life.

Try to take at least one such break every day. Take more breaks on days when you are more stressed. These breaks are guaranteed to bring down your persistent thoughts to a bare minimum and to enable you to get back to whatever you were doing with lots more energy and focus.

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February 15, 2008

You Are What You Think You Are

Your future will be consistent with your self image. You can change your future by changing your self image.

Most of us have a self-image and we live life consistent with that image. All our actions and decisions are influenced by what we think we can or cannot do or achieve. Our self image is our judgments and beliefs regarding our capabilities. Whenever we are faced by any action, decision or planning we evaluate each possibility with our self image and move forward accordingly; “I think I can do this...”, “I can’t do this...”, “I can never become a ...”, “I am sure, that one day I will...”.

Our self image is shaped primarily by our past experiences - successes and failures, feedback and comments received from others, our upbringing and childhood events. If you carefully analyze your self-image you will be surprised to find that many of its aspects are shaped by a single event, or comment. You will find that many significant aspects have been shaped by experiences that now seem very insignificant and almost forgotten, yet they have had a permanent effect on your self image. Clearly these aspects are worth a second thought.

Since we act consistent with our self image, we reinforce it with our actions and decisions and ensure that our future would also be consistent with the image. If you want your life to be different in future, you need to work on your self image today. If you want to be a more confident person in future, create a more confident self image today. If all your actions are driven by “I do not have the confidence”, you will never have confidence. However, if your actions start getting driven by “I have confidence”, then you will definitely find your confidence improving.

You need to take your self image seriously since it defines what you are going to be. You need to identify and remove the aspects that hold you back. At the same time you need to bring in aspects that are consistent with your desired future.

Changing your self image is not easy, but it is possible with conscious effort and a strong desire to shape your own future.

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February 13, 2008

Prophecies Can Come True

If you truly believe in a prophecy, your actions and decisions will make it come true.

A respected gypsy woman looked in her crystal ball and prophesied that the beautiful young girl sitting across the table will get married to a Greek gentleman. Years passed and many suitors came for her hand in marriage, but she turned them down as they were not from Greece. Her beauty attracted many handsome and rich men to court her, but she did not let herself fall in love with anyone. Till one day, she came across an average looking Greek gentleman looking for work. She invited him home, and helped him get a job at her father's factory. She knew he was the man for her as prophesized by the old woman. She did everything she could to help him and take care of him. Eventually he fell in love with her and they got married.

If you believe in a prophecy, your actions and decisions will make it come true. Prophecies have the power to put your being in action for making them come true. All your decisions are influenced sub-consciously by what you expect will happen in the future. And your decisions eventually create the future that your subconscious mind was expecting.

You can make this work in your favor. Declare your dreams as a prophecy and have blind faith in them. If you can make yourself believe in the prophecy, all your decision and moves in life will take you towards realisation of your dreams.

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February 10, 2008

Learning Of Education

Education is only a small source of learning. The primary sources of learning are your interactions and experiences with yourself, others, nature, and the environment

Education is information and experiences imparted to students in a regulated, protected, experimental and stimulated environment. However, education is only one source of information and experiences. Other primary sources are the interactions that we have, since birth, with people, nature and environment around us; and the interactions that we have with our own self in form of introspection, dreams and self-conversation – the voice in our head.

Learning is the assimilation of information and experiences with our ‘self’. Learning is analyzing the information and experiences that we have received, relating them to our existing learnings, putting our own interpretations around them and making them mean something to us. Each piece of learning makes a difference to who we are. The difference may be small, or it may be transformational. It may be positive or negative. In any case, it contributes to the evolution of our distinct and unique personality.

The education, information and experiences that we have received becomes useful and makes a difference to who we are, only after we have passed them through the process of learning. All other education, information and experiences that we have gathered is relegated to some corner of our mind.

All of us have very distinctly experienced that it is not possible to judge anyone on the basis of educational qualifications alone. It is possible for highly educated people to be with very poor learning if they are not in touch with their self, others and the environment. On the other hand, people with poor education can be very learned if they are present to themselves, their environment and the people around them.

February 6, 2008

Common Sense Is Not Instinct

Common sense is acquired knowledge. Unlike instinct, you are not born with it. Common sense is unique for each individual.

Most of us have gone through the frustration of dealing with people who do not seem to have common sense. Very often, common sense appears to be most uncommon and rare. Unfortunately it is true. Common sense is very uncommon. This is because what is common for you may not be common for someone else. Common sense is something that is acquired through experience. Since everyone goes through different experiences in life, common sense for each person is unique.

In England, it is common sense that shoes left outside the door by hotel guests need polishing, whereas in US the common sense is to throw them in trash. For the Japanese it is common sense to sit on floor if all chairs are taken, whereas for the French it is common sense to stand along the sides. For young drivers it is common sense to speed up on wide open roads, whereas for aged drivers it is common sense to drive near the kerb and make place for speeding cars. For most doctors, it is common sense to listen carefully to the patient, whereas for most lawyers it is common sense that their clients listen to them carefully.

Common sense varies not only by nationality, culture, age or profession; but also by education, upbringing, neighborhood, work place, etc. etc. Essentially everything that you experience in life shapes what you consider as common sense. Since all of us go through unique set of experiences in life, what we consider as common sense is also unique.

Whenever you come across someone, who does not seem to have common sense, look carefully. You will see a person who is different from you. There is no reason why your commons sense should be common for him or her.

February 4, 2008

Make Friends With Uncertainty

Uncertainty is a truth of life. Take action despite uncertainty. Do not wait for certainty before taking action.

We are normally apprehensive of uncertainty as it takes away our feeling of control over the future. Uncertainty, however, is as certain as death. You have no way of being certain about how your life would be a year or a month from now. In fact you cannot even be sure of tomorrow, or even today. In this article, I do not intend to deal with uncertainty relating to natural calamities such as unforeseen earthquakes, or health risks such as sudden heart attacks. My focus is on uncertainty in our day to day life.

The root cause of uncertainty lies in the very design of life. I had touched upon it it in one of my earlier posts; Life is Like a Game of Cards. From this perspective, life depends on four primary factors. The cards that got dealt to you, the cards that got dealt to others, the way you play your cards and the way others play their cards. Of these four things, you can only control how you play your cards. The other three things add to uncertainties in your life, as you cannot foresee how others will play their cards nor can you have any control over the cards that got dealt to you or others.

The best way to deal with uncertainty is to accept it as a truth of life. Uncertainty does make it difficult to predict and plan for future. However, it also opens the door to unforeseen opportunities and positive turn of events. Instead of trying to avoid or fight uncertainty, make space for contingencies when you design or plan your life. Be open to revising your designs and plans as life unfolds. Look for new opportunities. Be open to taking on opportunities that do not exist today, but might result in the future.

Make friends with uncertainty and make space for it in your life. Your friend may be a pain at times, but she also brings you the flowers of opportunity.

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January 28, 2008

Be Fearfully Courageous

Being courageous does not imply being fearless. Fear and courage go hand in hand. Fear is necessary for survival, whereas courage is required to succeed.

Fear is the acknowledgment of potential danger and the stimulus to take action for protection. It sets you in action for facing danger or fleeing from it. Fear may result from actual danger, e.g. facing a tiger in a jungle. Or, it may result from imagined danger e.g. fear of failure. In either case it sets you in action for protecting yourself. If you are fearless, then potential danger is not likely to generate protective reaction. A fearless soldier is likely to get shot easily. A fearless investor is likely to lose all his money and a fearless boxer is likely to get punched on his face.

Courage is the ability to persist with your objectives and take action even in the face of fear. Being courageous forces you to pursue your objectives despite fear. Fear helps you protect yourself from danger, whereas courage helps you take action despite being fearful. A fearfully courageous soldier would do everything to save his life, at the same time take advantage of each opportunity to take a shot at the enemy. A fearfully courageous investor would cover his risks and invest judiciously. A fearfully courageous boxer will cover his face with one hand, while hitting his opponent with the other.

Do not be afraid to be afraid. Fear is necessary. However do not let fear immobilize you. Be courageous and take action. Take on that big project that you are afraid to take on. Make that commitment that you are afraid to make. Take that first step that you are afraid to take. Be fearfully courageous.

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January 23, 2008

Do You Really Want Freedom?

Freedom is the right to choose. It goes hand in hand with commitments and responsibilities. Freedom itself is also a matter of choice.

You are free when you make your own decisions. With decisions, comes responsibility for outcome of the decisions. With responsibility comes commitment to generate the desired outcome. Freedom takes away the luxury of being a mere observer and going through life mechanically, letting someone else take the decisions and the responsibility for your actions. Freedom brings you out in the open and puts the burden of responsibility on you. Freedom forces you to come out of your comfort zone and take control of your life, situations and circumstances.

It is glamorous to talk about freedom, but how many of us really want to be free? Being free is difficult, painful and hard work. How many of us want to take decisions, commit ourselves to the decisions, and take responsibility for the outcome? In my understanding, all of us want to be free, but most of us shirk away from the responsibilities and commitments that come with it.

If you want to live a great life, I invite you to embrace freedom and accept everything that comes with it.... the commitment and the responsibility.

January 20, 2008

Adversity Breeds Creativity

We are at our creative best in adverse situations. Each one of us is very capable of finding innovative solutions to face any challenge that life throws at us.

In adverse situations we are under pressure to change something in our lives that is not working. We are forced to look at ways in which we can overcome adversity. Adversity puts a strong demand on us to innovate for survival. It forces us to be different than what we have been being. Some of the most successful people and businesses that the world has seen have grown out of adversity.

Wal-Mart is one of the best examples of how adversity can force you to innovate. Wal-Mart started operations in isolated Bentonville in Arkansas. They did not have any advantage over their competitors in terms of location, resources, manpower or suppliers. The only way they could compete was on the basis of lowest prices to customers. To achieve this objective, the entire organisation got creative around reducing cost and increasing efficiencies. So much so that, today, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world with the lowest cost structure and the most efficient supply chain. Some of their methods are highly criticized, and rightly so. However, it does not change the fact that their innovations in reducing cost and increasing efficiencies has revolutionized the global economy.

If you are faced with an adverse situation, be creative.

January 15, 2008

Take Risk: Be Open To Losing

The winner is a person who took the risk of losing and participated in the race.

Most people do not participate in the race simply because they are afraid of losing. They are waiting for a favourable situation where winning is guaranteed or highly probable. They do a lot of planning and analysis to determine their odds for winning the race. Some "ready-to-be" entrepreneurs have not yet launched their venture because they are waiting for an idea which is a sure winner. Most of us prefer taking "calculated risks", i.e. risks where the risk of risk is very low. Your chances of winning are almost certain if and only if you are running alone. I wonder if you would enjoy winning such a race.

To win a race you need to participate in the race. Participation puts you at risk of losing, but it also provides you the possibility of outrunning others and winning. If you do not participate, you cannot win. So take risk; be open to losing; and jump into the race. Losing is fine, at least you participated.

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January 13, 2008

A Question Of Perspective - 1

[A Question of Perspective does not have any right or wrong answer. Each answer is a perspective that may be unique or shared. I invite you to share your perspective with all readers]

You run out of gas (petrol) just 10 meters from the gas station (petrol pump). Are you lucky that you ran out of gas so near the gas station and you can easily push your car in? OR, are you unlucky that the gas didn't last just a few more meters which would have enabled you to refill gas without any trouble?

January 7, 2008

Leaders Create More Leaders

Successful leaders create more leaders, not followers.

Leadership is a way of being that generates passion in others for your cause or project. The bigger the cause or project, the higher the number of people you need to influence. For really big causes or projects, you need to be able to create leaders who would further influence others. The number of people you can influence has no limit, if you can create leaders who could further create more leaders such that they can further create even more leaders, and so on....

If you want to be a leader for a large cause or project, stop trying to find followers and start creating more leaders.

January 5, 2008

Creativity Is Not A Gift

You are creative when you continuously try to innovate and find new ways of doing things better, efficient or more beautiful.

Creativity is neither talent, nor a gift. Creativity results from your decision of being creative. Creation is normally based on a combination of what already exists. Sometimes, it might be something completely new. If you decide to be creative you will find yourself thinking of innovative ideas on how to make your offerings better, how to have happier customers, or how to do interesting things with your family and friends. Working on these ideas will make you feel very successful and powerful. It would fuel your success.

Being creative helps you break away from your regular way of being. It challenges you to innovate and generate ideas. It forces you to create.

January 2, 2008

The Law of Decreasing Marginal Utility

Moderation is one of the keys to enjoying your life and having magic in your relationships.

The law of Decreasing Marginal Utility is one of the basic laws in economics. When applied to us, it implies that the additional pleasure derived from each repetition of any activity is less than that derived from the previous repetition. To put it simply, if you have a bag of chocolates to eat, the additional pleasure that you get from eating each chocolate is likely to be less than that from eating the previous chocolate. The pleasure keeps decreasing till you stop enjoying the chocolates. If you were to continue eating, you might actually start disliking chocolates, and eventually throw away the bag

This is true for most things in our life, be it watching movies, traveling, reading, partying, eating out or socializing. If you really want to enjoy these activities, do them in moderation, and give sufficient gaps in between repetitions. Even in your relationships, the magic would last forever if you give each other time away from each other.

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